Dear People and Friends of Saint Joseph’s,
For many, today, this Sunday, has become another holi- day like Independence Day. This Sunday has become so con- nected with a sporting event that it has acquired its own name,“Super Bowl Sunday.” Whether or not a person likes football, it is a day of family gatherings, food and festivities. Yet, what is so Super?
The REAL Super Sunday is Resurrection Sunday, which we more regularly call EASTER ! In fact, that is why Christians for 2,000 years have gathered every eighth day to CELE- BRATE, not a competition, sporting event, or rivalry, but the True Victory for everyone—Christ Jesus’ Paschal Mystery. Originating in the time of Constantine, the first day of the week was named for the sun, Dies Solis, but for Christians the sun simply represented the True Son, Jesus Christ, whose rising gives even more hope than the daily rising of the morning star. Later this day also became known as the Lord’s Day, since the focus was both on his Resurrection and the primary day of our worship of the LORD for this great VICTORY.
Celebrating victory brings joy, enthusiasm, and excitement. Ecstatic fans this week will gather either in Foxborough, Massa- chusetts or in Los Angeles, California for an exuberant Super Bowl Champions’ parade. Yet, the glory of those few days will fade quickly.
In contrast, the victory Christians celebrate each Sundayhas the potential and power to transform us now and forever by this victory. The image of the Super Bowl can be very helpful to understand how. A tremendous difference exists between partic- ipants in the Super Bowl — the athletes and their coaches — and spectators — the rest of the world. Christians cannot be spectators in Christ’s Victory, which is more than holding aloft a trophy; we must participate in it daily!
In part, Intentional Discipleship emphasizes this difference. Spectators can know the rules, know the statistics, and know the names of the players, but they are not invested in relation- ships with the persons nor shaped by the competition. Specta- tors do not train, do not sacrifice, and do not experience in themselves the impact of the team effort.
Jesus invites us to be his Intentional Disciples by not just knowing about him and his teachings, but by knowing HIM in a living relationship and allowing that relationship to transform us even more than sports transforms athletes. Jesus invites us to be participants in his victory — “take up your cross and follow me,” “remain in me as I remain in you,” “receive the Holy Spir- it,” “whoever is in Christ is a new creation.” Christian faith does not encompass 1 hour on Sunday; faith in Jesus permeates every aspect of our lives, transforming it by the joy of living in God’s life and love. Let us live this victory fully together as par- ticipating members of Jesus’ TEAM, His Church!
In the Joy of Christ’s Victor